Middle East Growth For AirAsia Group

Southeast Asian low cost carrier giant AirAsia group has outlined its plans for expansion in the Middle East. Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia X and Bangkok-based Thai AirAsia X have announced new routes from their respective hubs to Tehran, with the latter also introducing new flights to Muscat.


The Iranian Connection

Following the easing of sanctions against Iran and a positive outlook for the country’s travel and tourism industry, both carriers will start flying to Tehran next month.


From 21 June 2016, AirAsia X resumes service to the Iranian capital with flight D7 776 departing Kuala Lumpur at 1905 hrs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, arriving in Tehran at 2340 hrs. Return flight D7 777 is wheels up from Imam Khomeini International Airport at 0105 hrs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, landing back at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 at 1245 hrs.


Thai AirAsia X’s flights follow a day later on 22 June 2016 and will also operate three times a week. Flight XJ 450 takes off from Bangkok (Don Mueang) at 1510 hrs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, landing in Tehran at 2020 hrs. On the inbound sector, flight XJ 451 departs Imam Khomeini International Airport at 2150 hrs on the same days of the week, arriving back in the Thai capital at 0800 hrs the next morning.


The airlines will compete with Iranian carrier Mahan Air on both routes, with the Kuala Lumpur service also challenging national airline Iran Air’s flights to the Malaysian capital.


From Thailand to Oman

Driven by projected leisure demand, Thai AirAsia X will start a 3 times weekly Bangkok (Don Mueang) – Muscat service on 28 June 2016, a week after the launch of its Tehran flights.


Flight XJ555 will depart the Thai capital at 1520 hrs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to arrive in Muscat at 1810 hrs. Return service XJ 556 takes off from Muscat International Airport at 1940 hrs for an early morning arrival into Bangkok (Don Mueang) at 0440 hrs the next day.


The carrier will offer the only low-cost option on the route, competing against legacy airlines Oman Air and Thai Airways International.


Both routes will be served using 377-seat, 2-class Airbus A330-300 jets, which are the mainstay of the AirAsia X fleet and feature angled flatbed seats in the premium cabin. Passengers will also be able to connect to AirAsia’s Asia Pacific network using the airline’s ‘Fly-Thru’ transfer service at KLIA2 and Don Mueang airports.


For more information, visit www.airasia.com.

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